Companies Triumph in the 2015 Greater China Business Awards

Wed, February 25th, 2015

From construction to dairy diverse NW companies triumph in the awards

Construction giants Arup and specialist manufacturer Cygnet Group joint winners

Delamere Dairy and Tithebarn joint runners up

Four North West companies have been named winners and runners up of the Greater China Business Awards 2015.

Construction giant Arup, which has North West offices in Manchester and Liverpool, and specialist engineering company Cygnet Group from Northwich were joint winners, with Knutsford’s Delamere Dairy and Tithebarn from Winsford as runners up, demonstrating the diversity of the region’s exports to China.

The Greater China Business Award rewards the company or organisation that has made the most significant contribution to developing business or network links with China, including bi-lateral trade or investment.

This is the tenth anniversary of the Greater China Awards, which were announced on Friday 20 February at a celebration to bring in the Chinese New Year of the Sheep, and Chancellor George Osborne sent a video message to congratulate the 17 finalists on their success.

In the last ten years since the awards began, the North West has built on its success in China, which is now the region’s third biggest market.
Arup’s team in the North West has played a significant role in delivering services for major projects in China, which have transformed the skyline across the boundary from Hong Kong to many parts of the mainland.
Arup has projects in over 50 cities in China including iconic structures such as the Bird’s Nest and the Water Cube for the Beijing Olympics and landmarks such as the International Commerce Centre and the Taipei Performing Arts Centre. The North West office has contributed multi-disciplinary services including architectural design, electrical, lighting, fire, geotechnical, mechanical and structural engineering, as well as 3Dvisualisation and software development.
Cygnet Group manufactures specialist machinery to produce and process technical fibres and fabrics, including carbon fibre used in automotive, aerospace, wind energy and other industrial and sporting applications. China is the company’s fastest growing market and they expect over a third of business to come from China this year. Cygnet operates a sales office in Shanghai and UK staff frequently visit China to build relationships and better understand the customers’ requirements.

The two runners up, Delamere Dairy and Tithebarn represent different sides of the food and farming industry – supplying dairy products and salt licks respectively.
China's sudden taste for milk has seen its dairy industry double in value over the past five years to an estimated £24.3bn. Delamere Dairy opened its first overseas office, in Hong Kong, specifically to develop and grow sales opportunities for the Delamere Dairy business in China and the Far East, and now exports to China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea as well as Hong Kong.

As well as the now established supply of UHT cows’ milk, Delamere Dairy is working with its customers in China and the Far East on a New Product Development programme to supply a wider range of dairy products. This has seen the launch of goats’ milk and yogurt drinks in 2014, with more products to follow in 2015 including a range of cream and added value milks to meet market demand.

Tithebarn exports salt licks for sheep and cattle to over 50 countries worldwide, and last year shipped 5,500 tones of its Rockies mineral blocks to China – accounting for 50% of all production.

Philomena Chen, Head of Asia Pacific Business for UK Trade & Investment North West, said:

“There was an outstanding level of entries for this year’s Greater China Awards, across a wide range of sectors from construction and advanced manufacturing to dairy and farming. The 2014 winners are the companies who have showed the most evidence of a commitment to the market and who have successfully expanded their business in mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan.
“Arup is consistently winning high value contracts in China because of their innovation, long term commitment to the market and strategic partnerships, and Cygnet has earned the position of supplier of choice with many Chinese customers by working directly with them and building trust.
“Our runners up, Delamere Dairy and Tithebarn, represent opposite ends of the food production industry and prove that there is significant opportunity for North West companies in all sectors, and that success in China is possible for businesses of all sizes.”
Clive Drinkwater, Regional Director for UK Trade & Investment North West, said:

“I am delighted that the Greater China Awards in the North West are still going strong as we reach our tenth anniversary. There were strong entries across all three categories, providing ample evidence of why this region has gone from strength to strength in trading with China over the last decade.

“North West exports to China topped £2 billion in 2013, and China is currently the 3rd biggest export market for the North West, yet when the Greater China Awards began in 2005 it was not even in the top 10.

“This success reflects the great importance the North West as a region places on China, and the long term rewards and success enjoyed by companies and educational establishments that have invested significant time and effort in furthering their business interests there.”

The winners were announced at the Greater China Awards and Chinese New Year Dinner on Friday 20th February at the Lowry Theatre in Salford.

Thanks also go to the evening’s sponsors Orangefield Group, Koehler Group, HSBC and Turkish Airlines.

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